Now that the dust has settled from a long couple days of the 2020 NHL Draft, how do we feel about the Chicago Blackhawks’ selections?
Chicago made eight picks this year, trading back into the seventh round to add one last pick. We previously shared how experts graded the Blackhawks selections.
Here are our grades for the Blackhawks Class of 2020.
Round One – Lukas Reichel, LW
The Blackhawks saw him first-hand during an exhibition game last year. Scouts are all over the place on his ceiling; he’s been compared to everything between Brandon Saad and John Tavares. He’s a couple years away from the NHL but his skill is an asset to the organization. He should end up a contributor in the NHL.
Round Two – Drew Commesso, G
This is the highest the Blackhawks have taken a goaltender in 20 years. Chicago was the second team to take a netminder in this draft and they got a good one. Commesso might be the eventual starter in Chicago. Scouts love his game and he’ll spend a few years developing at Boston University, a program the Blackhawks trust.
Round Three – Landon Slaggert, C
Chicago went with a center from the US NTDP, which we like. But we would have preferred Dylan Peterson, who went a few picks later to St. Louis. Slaggert is a tough player to play against but he felt like a reach in the middle of the third round.
Round Three – Wyatt Kaiser, D
Kaiser was the top senior defenseman in Minnesota high school hockey last year, a significant honor. He’ll head to college and have a few more years to develop, meaning he could eventually be part of the next wave of reinforcements on the blue line. This pick was solid value.
Round Four – Michal Krutil, D
A lot of scouts like how he played in international events. He has nice size and plays the puck well. The Hawks have done a decent job identifying talent in Europe during Bowman’s tenure, so this might be a nice sleeper.
Round Five – Isaak Phillips, D
Another potential lottery ticket on the blue line, Phillips has the potential to be an NHL contributor down the road. That’s all you hope for in a fifth round pick. His upside is worthy of a B.
Round Six – Chad Yetman, C
An overage forward from Eerie, he has long odds to be an AHL regular. Could eventually be a depth player in the organization but you’re drafting with hope in the sixth round.
Round Seven – Louis Crevier, D
His size is intriguing, but he waited until the seventh round to hear his name called after not being picked the first time through the system. If he makes the NHL at some point this would be a win. Hard to hate finding this kind of size on the blue line this late in the draft.
Overall Grade: C
Analysis: There are lots of Bs in our individual grades because the Blackhawks made some intriguing picks. We especially like the Kaiser pick as a longer-term project pick because he has a lot of skill and upside.
Five if the Blackhawks’ eight picks were used on defenseman, an area where the organization already has a stockpile that is viewed well by most analysts. Chicago has size and depth coming on the blue line, meaning all five of these picks face long odds in having a chance to make the NHL with the club.
The Blackhawks organization desperately needs more skill up front and they didn’t accomplish that here. Reichel looks like the only top-nine forward from this class, and there were other, more offensive options than Slaggert available in the third round.
For a team trying to get back to the mountain top before the careers of Duncan Keith, Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane this class doesn’t appear to be one that will make an impact during that window.
It will be at least five years before we can adequately grade this draft class in the NHL, but the immediate feeling is that the Hawks did OK – not great.